Tips for Sewing with Viscose Fabric

Posted by Freya Gilbert
on January 10, 2022

Viscose is my go to fabric for dresses and blouses because its so soft against my skin and easy to wear.  Made from natural wood fibres, it's a fantastic fabric to wear everyday.    

 
Because it's soft and slinky, you might feel a little weary about sewing with viscose.  But I want to share with you some great tips to help you build your confidence and make yourself something gorgeous to wear this new year.  Whether you're new to sewing or a seasoned stitcher, there's nothing more frustrating than trying to sew fabric that keeps slipping, sliding, and shifting as you work. But sewing slippery lightweight fabrics doesn’t need to be intimidating or frustrating, just follow our top tips below!
 
  • Firstly, pick a simple pattern. Try sewing our Everyday Amazing Shift Dress or FREE wrap skirt pattern. Both of these are ideal for practicing with.
  • Cut out your fabric on a carpet to stop it from shifting about while you cut.  The friction hold the fabric in place better than a smooth table.
  • If you can't cut on the floor, use a rotary cutter and mat to cut out.  This keeps the fabric flat as possible which avoids miss cutting.
  • Use plenty of pins to hold the fabric in place as you sew.

  • Make sure you use Microtex needles, which are thinner and sharper for a crisp sew.  They pierce the fabric without creating pulls in the threads in delicate fabrics.
  •  French Seams to finish the inside make for a luxury finish.  It's a more involved technique, but it creates a beautiful finish inside the garment, without the need for an overlocker.
  • Try using a walking foot to help feed the layers of fabric evenly through the sewing machine.

 

  • Extra-fine pins can hold the fabric in place. Pop them in perpendicular to the seam so you can sew right up to them then remove them as you approach the needle. It may take a little extra time, but it's much less time consuming than using a seam ripper to remove stitches that have slipped from where they're supposed to be while you sew.
  • Many people swear by tissue paper. Place a layer between the fabric to eliminate sliding. Even better, spray both sides of the tissue paper with temporary spray adhesive and then use it between the fabric. You won't have any adhesive directly on the fabric, but it will provide enough stickiness to keep the fabric in place. When you're done sewing, the tissue paper rips out like it was never there since it has become perforated with the needle.

using a sewing machine

  • Grab a glue stick––just an everyday glue stick meant for crafting and school projects is fine. Test it for visibility and washability on a scrap first to make sure it doesn't ruin your fabric. Use a light dab of glue on the seam allowance to hold the fabrics in place.
  • Baste the fabric in place with a long stitch on the machine or hand stitching.  For areas like attaching facings where the fabric shifting would cause big problems, it's worth spending 10 minutes hand basting to make sure everything stays where it should.
  • Purchase inexpensive pattern weights (or make your own) and use them to hold the slippery fabric in place while you sew.

 

This blog post was originally included in The Swatch List, issue five.

We created The Swatch List Subscription to bring a little of the in-store shopping experience direct to you in the comfort of your own home.  Each pack contains five hand-picked fabrics samples, accompanied by a fact-packed mini magazine full of details about the fabrics, including how to use them, pattern and project suggestions, tips for how to buy fabric online and lots more!  Order back issues here.

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